This homemade liquid laundry detergent is the best homemade laundry detergent ever! Save money on detergent without sacrificing quality!
We are so excited to share this DIY liquid laundry detergent recipe with you today. After a lot of trial and error, I feel confident I’ve found the best homemade laundry detergent recipe. We have actually tried homemade laundry detergent recipes twice before this one, and neither impressed me. In full disclosure, my first two attempts were for dry laundry detergent.
Why I Choose Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
I had almost given up on homemade laundry detergent completely, when my good friend Keesha texted me and said she had a recipe and wanted to make it together! I had my doubts, but she told me her mom and her sister had both been using this kind forever and swore by it, so I decided I would give it a go. Holy cow. I am in love with this homemade liquid laundry detergent, it is AMAZING!
Every time I open up the washer to switch loads, I am filled with joy because it smells fresh and clean. It also doesn’t leave gross residue, and gets out tough dirt and stains. Suffice it to say, this recipe is gonna shrink your laundry expenses considerably!
Since everyone has to do laundry, here are a few of our other popular laundry related posts! Free Printable Laundry Cheat Sheet is great for remembering what gets out what stain! These DIY Laundry Organization Bags are the cutest for storing laundry during the week, and everyone should know How to Clean your Washing Machine.
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Best Homemade Laundry Detergent
You ready for the easy recipe?
DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent Ingredients
- Fels-Naptha soap bar
- Washing soda
- Essential oils (optional)
After gathering your ingredients you will start by grating your Fels-Naptha soap bar. Here is what the Fels-naptha soap looked like after grating it. You want to use the smallest grater that you have, so that it melts as quickly and easily as possible!While you are grating your soap start four cups of water boiling.
Add your grated Fels-Naptha bar and stir over medium heat until soap is completely melted.
Next, fill your five gallon bucket up halfway with hot tap water.
Then add your other dry ingredients and stir together.
Finally, fill your bucket the rest of the way with hot water and stir again.
Be sure to clearly label your containers so that everyone knows they contain a detergent. Also, if you have young children be sure to keep your laundry detergent in a childproof container or on a high shelf. Here is the gallon jar I used, and here is a good five gallon bucket! I also love this gamma seal lid!
How much liquid laundry detergent does this recipe make?
This recipe makes a 5 gallon tub of liquid detergent. You only need 1/2 cup detergent for top loader machines and 1/4 for front loader machines per load! It’s easy to see how utilizing homemade laundry detergent can add up to a big savings!
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If you make this recipe and like it we would love for you to leave us a comment and a positive rating, they mean so much to us!
Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
- 5 gallon bucket
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup Borax
- essential oils (optional)
- 5 gallon bucket
- Heat 4 cups of water until boiling.
- Grate your Fels-Naptha soap bar (I just used a cheese grater) and add to boiling water. Stir continuously over medium low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
- Fill your 5 gallon bucket half full with HOT tap water, add melted soap, washing soda, and borax and stir well until all powder is dissolved.
- Fill the bucket the rest of the way to the top with hot water, stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.
- The next day, stir well and fill an old laundry detergent container with detergent.If desired, add your essential oils at this point! I use Doterra citrus bliss.
- Shake well before each use, because detergent can separate a bit.
- Top load machines use 1/2 cup per load, front load machines use 1/4 cup per load.
- Here is the gallon jar I used, and here is a good five gallon bucket!
It’s SO easy and SO worth it you guys! I can guarantee you’re gonna be glad you tried this DIY liquid laundry detergent!
*This post was originally written September 1, 2014 and has been updated with new photos, video and more detailed text.
I’m new to this ! I put the essential oils in when I put all the other ingredients in will it be okay??
Yes, it should be fine!
Do you have a recommendation of how many drops of essential oils to add?
Just totally personal preference but I add around 10 for all the gallons.
How much do you think you use for essential oils? The whole bottle for the whole 5gals?
I do like 10 or 15 drops, but you can add more or less whatever you prefer!
The smell of the bar soap was super strong and chemically in the kitchen when I was melting it down in the water. I wonder if it’s safe to melt down indoors?
How good is it on dark color fabrics? Does it fade the colors?
Not at all! Works great on any color.
Making this tonight! Do you put this in the detergent dispenser or the drum of a front load machine?
I use the detergent dispenser, but either would work fine!
How much of each ingredient do you use?
I just made this for the first time. I grated the soap bar in a food processor to very fine grain and heated on the stove for awhile but it never fully dissolved. Is this common?
Mine always dissolves, you may need to up the heat a little?
Is this recipe safe for HE washers?
I made this yesterday, followed the recipe other than used zote bc thats what i had on hand and even after stirring its like jello, how can I fix this?
That’s a bummer, I don’t know how to fix that!
I’ve has the same recipie come out like jello too. I just diluted the batch with enough extra water so that it was scoopable. Ends up being like runny jello. I just use a little extra in the machine. More like a cup for a full load, maybe extra if you have giant loads.
I have been making this for three no problems at all, I just made my second 5 gallon bucket! I love making my own laundry soap!
How long can the detergent stay in the 5 gallon bucket? Will it separate in the bucket?
It never “expires” but will become less efficient over long periods of time. It should have peak efficiency for the first year if stored in an airtight container indoors. The detergent may separate in the five gallon bucket. Simply mix well each time before pouring into your smaller regular use container!
I’ve been making this for years.
I add lavender oil when it is cooled off.
I now have another friend making it as well.
That makes us so happy! Thanks for letting us know Deb!
I would love to try this recipe. However, we can not use Borax due to allergies. Any suggestions on making it without the Borax?
You could try subbing baking soda. I have never tried it before so I can’t guarantee results, but let us know if you try it.